A spokesman for Japanese World Cup star Keisuke Honda’s technical sponsor, Mizuno, has hinted at a transfer to AC Milan for the midfielder, who has recently been linked with Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur.
Ties between Mizuno and Italy would make a transfer straightforward according to Mizuno marketing director, Masatoshi Yamaguchi.
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"Italy is a key market for Mizuno football. We have a strong position with many Calcio fans. I think Milan are a fantastic team, but it must be made clear that Honda's future is down to him, “ said Yamaguchi.
Honda's World Cup form wasn't all that caught the eye of clubs such as Arsenal and Tottenham - his current club, CSKA Moscow enjoyed an unprecedented run in the Champions League last season,
And Yamaguchi feels this test, as well as the players' impressive showings in South Africa, make him an ideal candidate for the stiffer test of Serie A.
"We must not forget that CSKA Moscow got to the quarter finals of the Champions League and they are a strong team in Europe.
"Honda has shown he can play at the highest levels at club and national level. I think he can play at the level he desires."
The midfielder was the outstanding player for Japan as they qualified for the second round of this year’s World Cup, scoring a free-kick against Denmark in the final group match.
The CSKA playmaker only moved to Russia this year, joining after a three-year stint in Holland with VVV Venlo.
Spurs manager Harry Redknapp was full of praise for Honda during the World Cup, and was thought to be keen on taking the Japanese star to White Hart Lane.
Rival boss Arsene Wenger was also said to be monitoring the CSKA Moscow forward throughout the tournament with a view to taking him to Emirates Stadium.
However it now appears that both Spurs and the Gunners may be forced to look elsewhere for attacking reinforcements.
By Mark Boothcomments